Ruud van Nistelrooy claims there is “no problem” between him and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson after the Dutch striker was left out of the team for the Carling Cup final.
Van Nistelrooy was an unused substitute in the 4-0 victory over Wigan, with replacement Louis Saha scoring one of the Red Devils’ goals.
Pictures of the 29-year-old looking glum as he trudged off the Millennium Stadium pitch while all around him celebrated led some to suggest his future lay away from Old Trafford.
But Van Nistelrooy is adamant he accepted Ferguson’s decision with good grace and expects to be back in the line-up when United face Wigan again in the Barclays Premiership next Monday.
“The manager told me before the game that I wasn’t playing. I was very disappointed but I could understand why he wanted to play Louis because he has been playing very well in the competition this season,” the former PSV Eindhoven forward said.
“You have to accept the decision as a professional player. There is no problem between me and the manager. I cheered the first two goals with everyone else on the bench and I was happy for the team.
“I’ve heard suggestions I was acting. Well, if I was, then I’m the best actor in Holland. I’ve scored a lot of goals this season and feel I’ve been playing well and I hope to be back in the team to play Wigan on Monday. I expect to play the league matches.”